Lower-League Laments

Well, this isn’t exactly a post I enjoy writing, but one that’s interesting and relevant nonetheless.

It doesn’t really fit into a category, but then again, neither does SmallWorld as a whole, so it kinda works. We’re going to take a look at some of the biggest explusions from the lower-league soccer community for the 2020 season.

I got to thinking about this after seeing that Greenville FC of the NPSL would take a season off, and I realized that quite a few quality clubs won’t be in play this season for some reason or another.

Here are a variety of clubs that join them on the inactive (or less active/active in a significantly lower level league) list and why I’m sad they’re gone. No particular order here, by the way.

Atlanta SC – This one is probably more saddening for its history as Atlanta Silverbacks than its recent days under the Atlanta SC rebrand, but it’s sad all the same to see them go. They’ve had a history of struggling to stay afloat, and it seems a miracle they’ve made it this long, to be fair. They even found themselves in NISA for a minute there, but it seems to have all been for naught as they’re out of the NPSL, out of NISA, and seemingly off the map completely. I’ve heard they could have a youth team in the UPSL this season, but that wouldn’t exactly be the same. Tough to see a team close to home fall away.

HOWEVER – HOLD THE PHONE. Not everyone is convinced the club is leaving. Some have said they will indeed be back in NPSL, including a fellow club in Georgia Revolution. However, they also said Greenville would be back, and as you’ll read in a moment, that’s not true. So maybe Atlanta isn’t going on a hiatus, but just leaving the professional ranks of NISA. Either way, sad that they’re moving down.

Greenville FC – This one surprises me more than their former Southeast Conference counterpart. Greenville seemed a lot more healthy as an organization and with a much stronger fan base than most, so I’m not sure what’s prompted the hiatus from the club. They aren’t necessarily dropping out as much as taking a year off, per the club’s official statement, but it’s hard to know as of now exactly what that will come to mean. It’s possible they’re just looking for an alternative to NPSL after so many established clubs left the Southeast Conference, but either way, I hope to see them back soon.

Brooklyn Italians – Well… this one is a real bummer. A team with a lot of Open Cup history that won’t be competing this year, per, because they’re leaving the NPSL. Some say they’ll join the Cosmopolitan Soccer League, which wouldn’t be a bad fallback spot, but it’s certainly not an ideal situation for a cool club that’s appreciated by myself and many others in the grassroots soccer community.

Lansing Ignite – This is another pretty depressing one. The club didn’t have much history, as it only spent one year in USL League One. Now, however, after one short season, operations have ceased completely. Its disappearance reminds me of that of Fort Lauderdale Strikers a few years back in that it leaves a gaping hole in the hearts of many high-quality supporters in the local area. Hopefully Lansing gets a more deserving team with stronger ownership soon, but until then, it’s tough to watch a quality fan base not get rewarded with a quality club to follow.

Any clubs that I missed? Thoughts on the clubs I have included? You know where to send them! SmallWorld Social is on Twitter, Facebook, and in the comments of the post, of course.

Thanks for reading, and in order to keep more clubs off this list in future years,

Support local soccer, seek out diversity, and unify those around you!




By danny kotula

danny kotula is an aspiring sports writer and play-by-play commentator. unfortunately, he is not good at either one. his interests include watching soccer and listening to obscure music genres, and those aren’t even his most boring ones. he was born in Tacoma, Washington but has called South Carolina, North Carolina, Georgia, Texas, California, Georgia, and Costa Rica home over the course of his life. he generally knows where to put a comma, which is by far his most redeeming quality. he is writing this in third person as if he were famous enough for someone to write him a biography, but don’t be fooled. he’s not famous.

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